The sunflower is one of the most culturally significant flowers across the globe. In Greek mythology, the sunflower is tied to the myth of Clytie and Apollo, symbolising Cytie’s undying loyalty and love for the God of the Sun. It has symbolic meaning in other cultures as well, such as in China where sunflowers represent longevity, vitality and fortune.
In Native American groups, practicality and symbolism overlap. They associate sunflowers with bountiful harvest and vitality because of the plentiful resources that sunflowers provide. Sure enough, aside from their popular golden hue and beautifully-arranged petals, sunflowers are actually very practical. There’s more to those sunflowers in your graduation bouquet than meets the eye.
Here are some of the ways sunflowers are used that may surprise you.
Sunflower oil has been used for centuries as cooking oil, possibly originating from the Native Americans. This type of oil is loaded with healthy unsaturated fat, which may benefit heart health and lower cholesterol. It is also low in unhealthy saturated fat, making it a great alternative to most other vegetable oils.
On top of its health benefits, sunflower oil serves as an excellent all-purpose cooking oil. You can use it for almost any form of cooking, be it frying, roasting or even baking, as a replacement for butter. Being a neutral oil, it does not overpower the taste of your dishes, giving it a lot of versatility.
Sunflower seeds, as small as they are, are actually the fruit of sunflowers. These seeds are often roasted and eaten as a healthy snack. They are adored for their nutty flavour and pleasant texture, and they are also great for your health.
Rich in several nutrients like vitamins, iron and calcium, they also contain the antioxidant vitamin E, which can slow down the ageing process by protecting your body from free radical damage. In addition, eating sunflower seeds has been shown to lower your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Attract butterflies and birds
The love for sunflowers is not limited to humans. Some animals love them too. Butterflies feed on the nectar of sunflowers, while birds are attracted to the sunflower seeds. This makes sunflowers a perfect choice for the backyards or balconies of any bird or butterfly-watchers. sunflowers can bring life to any garden, visually and physically.
Sunflower petals have historically been used to make natural dyes. Depending on the type of sunflower used, the colours can range from bright yellow to deep orange. The Hopi, a Native American tribe, use the seeds to make darker-coloured dyes, such as grey or dark purple. These dyes are great for colouring baskets, fabrics and yarn. Since they are all-natural, they are a wonderful and safe alternative to artificial dyes as well.
At the end of the day, sunflowers will always see use as a thoughtful gift for any joyful occasion. From their deep symbolic meaning to their iconic Sun-like appearance, everyone knows that sunflowers and happiness come together. Nothing lifts the spirits or inspires confidence like a well-arranged, brilliant sunflower bouquet.
If you are looking to show someone your care and affection, sending them a beautiful bouquet of flowers is a sure-fire way to do so. Here at Nicole’s Flower, you can order flowers online and have them delivered straight to your special someone’s doorstep. Making someone’s day has never been easier.